Hardened Hearts

February 9, 2021

And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God"  (Matthew 14:32-33).

When Jesus and Peter stepped into the boat immediately the storm stopped. Jesus didn’t have to say a word like He did in Mark 4:39. John 6:21 tells us that as soon as Jesus stepped into the boat it arrived at their destination.

The disciples in the boat had been in the middle of the storm tossed Sea of Galilee, ca. 3-5 miles away from shore. But when Jesus joined with them in the boat immediately the storm stopped and the boat was on shore at the very spot they were headed when they left Bethsaida. This again attests to the deity of Jesus Christ - that He could exert His will and accomplish His purpose without having to speak or do anything.

Note the response of the disciples, Truly You are the Son of God (v.33). This is a very important observation by the disciples, but it is also troubling. You see, for 2 years the disciples had been with Jesus - listening to His teaching with divine authority, watching His divine power perform miracles of healing, transforming lives, changing situations. Prior to this event on the Sea of Galilee only Peter had declared such a fact publicly. Why now? Why not earlier?

In the parallel passage recorded in Mark 6:51-52 we read, Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened. They failed to grasp the significance of the miracle of feeding the 5,000+. Evidently they failed to grasp the significance of other miraculous signs and wonders that Jesus performed. And the reason for their inability to understand was because of a hardened heart.

We read about ‘hardened hearts’ in a number of places in the Bible. To ‘harden the heart’ is another way of saying to be stubbornly and willfully opposed to someone, especially the Lord God. It is to refuse to yield to the Word of the Lord. Here, the disciples are described as having hardened hearts. But they were not opposed to Jesus here. Their mind and spirit was dull; they were slow to grasp who Jesus truly was. The miracles were signs and wonders, but their understanding didn’t go beyond that to believe Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God.

“Holy Spirit, there are many things in Scripture that my eyes do not see clearly. There are many things You do that my mind and spirit do not grasp completely. I ask that You will continue to work in me to help me understand, apply, and appreciate who Jesus is and the work of His Kingdom here on earth. To His glory and honor I ask, Amen.”


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